Examining the Heart 73

To say…, “I am a sinner,” is easy; but to pray with the publican indeed, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner”, is the hardest prayer in the world. It is easy to say, “I believe in Christ”, but to see Christ full of grace and truth, of whose fullness you may receive grace for grace; that is faith indeed. It is easy to profess Christ with the mouth; but to confess Him with the heart, as Peter, to be the Christ, the Son of the living God, the alone Mediator, that is above flesh and blood. Many call Christ, Savior; a few know Him so. To see grace and salvation in Christ, is the greatest light in the world. None can do that, but at the same time they shall see that glory and salvation to be theirs. Thomas Willcox

The words we say can be different than what we believe or have in the heart. We can know the right things to say and say them, but that is a far different thing than saying these things from the depths of the heart. It is a far, far different thing to say that one is a sinner and even believe that one is a sinner, but it is quite a different thing to realize and know that one is such a sinner by nature and actions that one needs mercy for the next breath. It is beyond the power of nature to say from the depths of the heart that “I” am such a sinner that I have nothing that I can do and nothing that I am to move God to answer my prayer or do the least good to and for me.

2 Corinthians 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak.

Within Christendom we have a terrible problem of people deceiving others and even themselves because of words. The Gospel does not instruct people to say words or even to agree that certain things are true, but it tells them that they must be born from above and become new creatures. The biblical teaching of faith is not that it is an act of the human will, but is in fact a gift of God. Faith does not come because a person convinces himself/herself that s/he must believe it, but it is something that comes from a regenerate heart when the person is united to Christ. It is not just that the person believes something as true and says that s/he is looking to Christ, but instead the person must look to Christ and receive by grace what a person believes.

It is so easy for people to say words that they believe Christ and to profess Christ by words, but to really believe Christ and to really profess Christ is a far different thing. How utterly beyond human ability to arrive at the point of the abnegation of self from the throne and to die to pride and confess from the heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and the only Mediator between God and man. But to truly be delivered from all self-righteousness and to look to Christ alone as my hope for being in the presence of God is beyond the power of self. The self will always look to self for something or for some causation or something of self to make self acceptable in the sight of God. It is one thing to say the words of a creed that Christ is the only Mediator, but to truly rest in Him as such is a far different thing. It is a Divine work in the human soul and done by grace alone.

So many speak of Christ as their Savior, but what does that mean if it is only words? What does that mean if the human soul has just made a decision and based on that decision utters words that Christ is his or her Savior? Has Christ really saved the soul from trusting in itself at that point? Has Christ given the soul free-grace so that the soul is saved from its bondage to free-will? Has Christ taken away the darkness of the soul so that it now has the light of life? Has Christ taken away the bondage of sin so that the soul delights in true life? Is Christ the life of the soul rather than the life of self? It is a far different thing to have Christ as Savior than is thought in our day.

As can readily be seen from what has been written above, it is the heart that must be examined and no our words only. While it is true that even our careless words will be brought into judgment, so will the desires, intents, and loves of the soul. The things of the soul are open before God and He sees those things and not just our words. If we try to convince others, ourselves, and even God that Christ is our Savior by our words, He will see that our words are nothing but lies and deception. The heart has nothing to look to but Christ. The heart has nothing to trust in but Christ. So we must examine our hearts while crying out to God to deliver us from the bondage of our own hearts. We must have grace or we perish. We must have grace or we will look to self.

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